The Internet And Local TV: Competitors Or Partners?

The Internet and local television stations seem like naturally competitive media platforms. But there's another line of thinking: that each could use the other's help.

Chris Rohrs, the outgoing president of the Television Bureau of Advertising, thinks both media are complementary to each other. Where television can still provide wide brand awareness for marketers, the Internet can drill down to all those niche areas local TV may not be that good at.

Internet advertising executives might tell you differently -- that growing digital media platforms can handle all sorts of advertisers better than traditional TV platforms.

Right now, in this stage of both media platforms' growth phase, Rohrs would seem to have a point. TV's and other traditional media's big brand names still mean a lot local media consumers.

Case in point: If a big local news story were to happen, where would you turn right now? That might be your local TV station's or local newspaper's Web site. It probably wouldn't be the likes of Google News, MSNBC, Facebook, or Yahoo.  

What does TV bring to the new local Internet businesses? Newly branded local digital sites would love to get the CPMs local TV stations currently receive.
No matter. Some Internet executives believe this is a battlefield and have strong sentiments.  At the recent OMMA Global Hollywood event, Mahalo founder/CEO Jason Calacanis pounded the podium with a message that "We could kill, kill, kill mainstream media today."

Few media executives are worried that the likes of all-powerful Google -- selling traditional TV inventory on some NBC cable channels, Hallmark Channel, Dish Network, and Bloomberg TV -- is ready to take over the media world. They may think it's a good idea.

Imagine if and when Google -- and its Google TV Ads group --- starts selling some of the huge supply of local TV advertising inventory for TV stations, making it easier for complaining local media agencies to solve their still-big back-office paperwork problems.  That might be a powerful partnership which could help remove doubt about TV stations' survival.

Kill mainstream media? Right now a hug would be better; kill later



6 comments about "The Internet And Local TV: Competitors Or Partners?".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, April 8, 2009 at 1:05 p.m.

    The key supposition in your argument is: "If a big local news story were to happen...."

    And how often does THAT happen? Once a week, once a month?

    I guess it depends on how you define "big" -- but in my mind, the kind of local TV news story that would pry my eyes off my computer screen is very, very rare. And likely my attention is prompted by my local Twitter list, many of whom have already uploaded a TwitPic from their cellphone before the local TV news producer can roll a truck.

    Local TV is so 20th century. Ask anyone under 30 (not me).

  2. Arthur Lynch from Creative Communications, April 8, 2009 at 1:27 p.m.

    But only if there is a revenue stream to keep newspapers, television and what it left of radio news operating and staffed. I worked as a wire service reporter while doing radio, resulting in my providing materials to newspapers, television stations (watching reporters read my words as if they were their own and in front of buildings where I knew they never set foot), magazines and internet wire feeds. There is a symbiotic realtionship.

    Wtihout reproters you have not fifth estate, no checks and balances and no coverage from multiple perspectives.

    A merger of the distribution will work if funds can be uses wisely to keep all media strong and complimentary in the process,

  3. William Hughes from Arnold Aerospace, April 8, 2009 at 1:28 p.m.

    I no longer have any need for Local, Network or Cable TV. I can get my News from the Web, and Entertainment is either from the web or from DVDs. As for Sporting Events I only need to walk about 100 yards to a Sports Pub.

    Local and Network TV are Dinosaurs, and so is Cable.

  4. Clinton Gallagher, April 8, 2009 at 2:01 p.m.

    Dear Goliath,

    Day by day people from all walks of life are learning "Your local friends and neighbors from TV6 your trusted source of news, weather and sports" are lying rat weasels not telling them the "digital broadcasting" (transition) and the "Internet Protocols" mean the same thing.

    When they learn they have been lied to by ommission (once again) and this time ignorantly lured to go out to spend hundreds and in some cases thousands of dollars on crippled HDTV products that do not support unhindered IP they are not thinking well of you sleazy Philistines.

    First to be subjected to disintermediation; the print magazine industry.

    Second to be subjected to disintermediation; the lying weasel newspapers.

    Next on the agenda; the cockroaches that have exclusivley controlled "TV."

    And the light of this indisputable truth shines brighter every day.


  5. Todd Koerner from e-merge Media, April 8, 2009 at 2:02 p.m.

    Hey, Wayne. Do I rate a shout-out in today's column?

    On Monday, I wrote this on your blog:
    "Just ask yourself where you turn when a local news story breaks that normally wouldn't rate even a passing mention on the major news websites. That is where the future lies for local network affiliates."

    Today, you wrote this:
    "Case in point: If a big local news story were to happen, where would you turn right now? That might be your local TV station's or local newspaper's Web site. It probably wouldn't be the likes of Google News, MSNBC, Facebook, or Yahoo."

    Just curious...

  6. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, April 8, 2009 at 3 p.m.

    TV. Who thinks TV operations do not have computer access for even quicker updates? How do you think their stories get from where the reporters are and the stations to broadcast? Newspapers reporters do not call in their stories anymore either and then have to get back to the office to type them up to send them to the typesetters. Wake up! There already is collaberation and will continue to morph. After the story passes and you need to find more info, then Google can find where you can view the backstories from various media. Tactics of an extreme fight club are really bad ideas here.

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